Current Affairs 15th December 2017 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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National Affairs: Haryana government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Airports Authority of India. The MoU aims at the development of an International Aviation Hub at Hisar. The state reserved 4,200 acres of land adjoining the pre-existing airstrip, to be utilized for the project. A joint working group has also been comprised to guide the State Government in developing the Aviation Hub. Advisor of the Civil Aviation Department Ashok Sangwan signed the MoU on behalf of the state government while head of business management Anil Kumar Gupta signed on behalf of the AAI. The proposed aviation hub plans for a 9,000 feet runway with international standards airport along with several other facilities including ample parking for airlines and general aviation (GA) operators, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO).

In an apparent move to rebuild its presence in China, Google announced that it will open a research lab focused on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Beijing, China. It will be its first such centre in Asia. The "Google AI China Centre" will join the other AI research groups that the company has in other parts of the world, including in New York, Toronto, London and Zurich. The main Focused on basic AI research, the lab will consist of a team of AI researchers in Beijing, supported by the company's engineering teams.

In the latest list released by Forbes, Michael Jordan named as the highest-paid athletes of all time. The 54-year-old has a whopping $1.7 billion in the bank. Former world number one golfer Tiger Woods is standing at the second spot. Late America golfer Arnold Palmer is at No.3 with incredible $1.4 billion to his name.

The Union Government is planning to club phase I and phase II of its ambitious Ken-Betwa interlinking river (ILR) project. The phases will be clubbed after Madhya Pradesh, one of the two beneficiary states (Uttar Pradesh in another), demanded so. The state government had allegedly warned that first phase of the project would not be allowed to take off if as it has not reworked to incorporate three other smaller projects – Bina complex, Lower Orr dam and Kotha barrage projects – in the initial phase. The Ken-Betwa ILR project aims to transfer surplus water from the Ken River to the Betwa basin through the concrete canal to irrigate India’s worst drought recently.

The National Institute of Transforming India (NITI) Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission launched the Atal Tinkering Lab’s Community Day in New Delhi. The day marks Community Drive Initiative in which 25 young Mentors engaged with more than 200 students who are not enrolled in the formal education system. The initiative is aimed at maximizing impact of Atal Tinkering Labs by extending innovation to children in the community who do not have access to formal educational institutions.

World youth champion Sachin Siwach was named the Asian Boxing Confederation’s best youth boxer of the year 2017 after winning an online poll conducted by the continental body. Siwach polled 36.2 % votes in this category. Siwach claimed the Asian youth championships silver this year besides a gold at the Youth Commonwealth Games. India also fetched the Best Asian International Technical Official (ITO) award with Lenny D’Gama winning the online poll. D’Gama polled 45.5%.

Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar hosted the 4th India-Australia-Japan Trilateral Dialogue with Secretary of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia Ms Frances Adamson and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan Mr. Shinsuke J. Sugiyama, in New Delhi. The three sides highlighted the growing convergence of their respective countries’ interests in the Indo-Pacific region and underscored their shared commitment to peace, democracy, economic growth and a rules-based order in the region.

The Eleventh World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC11) took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Conference was chaired by Minister Susana Malcorra of Argentina. Indian Delegation was led by Minister of Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu. 

Mumbai Metro launched a new security app ‘Secucare’, which can be downloaded on Android and IOS platforms, for raising an alarm to ensure passengers’ safety. Through the app, commuters can raise an alarm in case of any problem.  The control room will be alerted once the alarm is raised. The security personnel in the control room will be able to track the exact location of the passenger through the application. The 

Sri Lanka becomes the 163rd nation to accede to the anti-personnel mine ban convention, fulfilling the pledge it made last year to join the international community in supporting the ongoing landmine clearance programme, the foreign ministry. The Ministry Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, commonly referred to as the Mine Ban Treaty or Ottawa Treaty, was adopted on September 18, 1997, at the Diplomatic Conference on an International Total Ban on Anti-Personnel Land Mines at Oslo, Norway. According to the report by Nobel Prize-winning International Campaign to Ban Landmines, last year 8,605 mine or explosive remnants of war casualties were reported, in which at least 2,089 people were killed.

Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik has unveiled a new multi-coloured logo for the Kumbh Mela that is scheduled to be held in Allahabad in January 2019.  The logo, which comprises temples, seers, a Kalash (pitcher) and a 'Swastika', was launched by the governor at a function in the Raj Bhawan here last evening. He launched the Kumbh's tagline "Chalo Kumbh Chalo-Chalo, Kumbh Chalo".

The winter session of Parliament begins with Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging all political parties to extend co-operation for smooth conduct and pressing for a "national consensus" on the issue of simultaneous elections in the country. This year's Winter Session of the Parliament will end on 5th January 2018 has only 14 proposed sittings. As per government data available, 14 sittings is the lowest for any winter session since 1999.

Jitesh Singh Deo from Lucknow was declared the winner of the 2017.  Mr. India pageant which was held in Mumbai. Indian footballer Prathamesh Maulingkar won the title of Mr. India Supranational and will compete at Mr. Supranational 2018. Abhi Khajuria was declared the first-runner up while Pavan Rao was the second runner-up. Actress Kangana Ranaut felicitated the winners. Jitesh competed with 15 other contestants to grab the coveted title.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan the union government jobs will be provided to the medal winners of individual and team competitions at the international level. While addressing the concluding programme of All India Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia Women Gold Cup Hockey Tournament, Singh mentioned that life is incomplete without sports. He announced to give an additional amount of Rs. One lakh each to the teams, which bagged four first positions in the tournament and Rs. 25 thousand each to the best players of various categories. The Indian Railway Women Hockey team lifted the Mayor Trophy by defeating the team of Madhya Pradesh Women Hockey Academy with 4 goals to one in the final match.

Telangana government under the leadership of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is gearing up for the five- day long mega literary festival of World Telugu Conference beginning from tomorrow. For the first time after the bifurcation of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, the international convection is being organized at Hyderabad. Around 8,000 delegates and 250 cultural organizations across the globe would be participating in the five-day long Conference at LB Stadium. The amount of Rs 50 crore has already been sanctioned by the Telangana government.

Norway became the world's first country to shut down national broadcasts of its FM network by completing its transition to digital radio. The transition will allow for better sound quality, a greater number of channels and more functions, at a cost eight times lower than FM radio. The transition concerns only national radio channels.

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  • Visits by World Presidents, Prime Ministers,
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